Archive for May 7th, 2011

The AP reports:

zach randolph

Zach Randolph had 21 points and a franchise-record 21 rebounds, and the Memphis Grizzlies rallied from a 16-point deficit to stun the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-93 in overtime Saturday and grab a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal.

The Grizzlies are trying to do something no NBA team has done in climbing from the No. 8 seed all the way to the Western Conference finals. They moved two wins away from that by remaining undefeated on their home court this postseason…

Kevin Durant, the NBA’s scoring leader in the regular season and these playoffs, took only three shots in overtime and missed them all. He finished with 22 points, his lowest this postseason after averaging 31.6 points coming in.

O.J. Mayo had 18 points off the bench. Mike Conley also scored 18, Marc Gasol had 16 and Tony Allen 10.

Russell Westbrook had 23 points and 12 assists, but committed seven turnovers and fouled out late in overtime for the Thunder. Serge Ibaka had 14 points and James Harden 12.

Oklahoma City was up 70-54 on Kendrick Perkins’ tip-in with 3:53 left in the third and seemed in control with Westbrook scoring 13 points in the period.

Memphis erased that lead with a 13-2 run and outscored Oklahoma City 23-10 in the fourth quarter, then 15-7 in overtime. The Thunder hit just 3 of 12 in the extra period.

Live fan discussion of the game took place in this forum topic.

The Los Angeles Lakers are down 0-3 to the Dallas Mavericks. You generally never count the defending champion Lakers out of anything, but in this case there’s no reason to think they are going to win the next four games and advance to the Western conference finals.

But if you ask Kobe Bryant about it, would you expect him to accept defeat? Should he? Of course not. Kevin Ding of the OC Register reports:

Despite being down 0-3, Kobe Bryant says he is still very confident

Kobe Bryant described himself as “very confident” Saturday, even with the Lakers staring at a 3-0 series deficit against the Dallas Mavericks.

“Just relax and play,” Bryant said.

Bryant huddled with friend and fellow captain Derek Fisher after Game 3 (included in my column about the Lakers’ late-game choking is them not leaving the locker room till more than an hour after the game) and after a night’s sleep stuck with his belief that the Lakers could minimize mistakes and build new momentum.

I’m thinking the Lakers win the next game. Maybe even two. But I think the Mavs win the series in five or six games. Probably five.

Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune reports:

Hawks coach Larry Drew promised Saturday to make some adjustments in terms of defending Derrick Rose after the MVP scored a career-high 44 points in Friday’s 99-82 Game 4 win.

Part of those adjustments no doubt will include more physical play against Rose.

Drew checked out the stat sheet during halftime and saw only one foul from his starters, assessed to point guard Jeff Teague.

In other words, Rose won’t go untouched come Sunday night.

“Without a doubt,” Drew said when asked if his team needed to be more physical with Rose. “From a physical standpoint, absolutely.”

The AP reports:

Dirk scores 32, Mavs take 3-0 lead on Lakers

Kobe Bryant knows the deal. His Los Angeles Lakers are down 0-3 to the Dallas Mavericks and none of the 98 NBA teams facing that deficit have ever come back to win a series.

Yet Bryant also knows his team has won the last two championships, and reached the finals three straight years. And that his soon-to-be-retired coach has won a record 11 championships and has never been swept in his 20 years on the sideline.

Bryant also realizes how close his team is to leading this series 2-1. They blew a 16-point lead in the opener, losing only in the final seconds, and on Friday night they fell apart down the stretch again on the way to a 98-92 loss…

The Lakers have mostly themselves to blame for being in this predicament. Leading by seven with 5:05 left, and having controlled the game throughout the second half, they got sloppy on defense. They gave Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic wide open shots, and that turned things around in a hurry…

Missing the suspended Ron Artest, Jackson gambled with a starting lineup featuring 6-foot-10 Lamar Odom at small forward, alongside 7-footers Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. The Lakers logically pounded the ball inside with great results. Even Bryant started getting into the paint, making his first layup of the series…

Dallas’ superstar scored 32 points, making 12 of 19 shots. With the Lakers’ big guys crowding the lane, he went back to his roots and got comfortable behind the 3-point line, burying 4 of 5. He only attempted four free throws, but made them all…

Terry scored 23, including some of the points that helped ice the victory in the closing minutes. Stojakovic scored 11 of his 15 in the final quarter. Jason Kidd added 11 points and nine assists.

Bynum had 21 points and 10 rebounds. Odom scored 18 and Bryant scored 17. He had only four points in the final quarter.

Gasol had 12 points and Shannon Brown provided a spark off the bench with 10.

The AP reports:

Rose scores career-high 44, Bulls rout Hawks 99-82 in Game 3

Derrick Rose sliced up Atlanta for a career-high 44 points as the top-seeded Chicago Bulls seized control of the Eastern Conference semifinals with their best performance of the postseason, romping to a 99-82 victory over the Hawks in Game 3 Friday night…

Rose was dominant from the opening tip, slashing into the lane for a basket that prompted Atlanta to call a timeout before the game was a minute old. He finished off the Hawks midway through the fourth with back-to-back 3-pointers, hopping down the court, serenaded by chants of “MVP! MVP!” from a hefty contingent of Bulls fans…

While everyone will point to Rose’s performance, the Chicago bench played a key role in a decisive second-quarter spurt. And everyone chipped in rebounding, leading the Bulls to a 47-34 edge that included 18 offensive boards. Joakim Noah led the way with 15 rebounds, plus five blocks…

Most noticeably, Al Horford had another miserable game. With Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford getting doubled every time they touch the ball, the Hawks need more from their All-Star center. He had just 10 points and is shooting less than 40 percent in the series…

Jeff Teague, who wouldn’t have been playing much if not for an injury to Kirk Hinrich, kept up his strong play from the first two games. He scored 11 of Atlanta’s first 17 points but couldn’t keep the Hawks in it all by himself…

Joe Johnson was held to 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting. Crawford managed only seven. It was those two who dominated Game 1. They’d better get it going again, or Atlanta’s season will be done in a few days.

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